Last week, while I was searching for coins for my coin collection hobby in Daryaganj, I came across the legendary Moti Mahal Restaurant. This restaurant is located near Golcha Cinema on Netaji Subhash Chandra Marg in Daryaganj. It was established soon after India's Independence in 1947 and has been frequented by many political leaders of that time such as Jawaharlal Nehru.
The original owners of Moti Mahal Daryaganj are supposed to have introduced Peshawari tandoori cuisine to India, when they arrived during Partition with a group of tandoori cooks. This restaurant is also known to have invented 'Butter Chicken'. I have heard a lot about Moti Mahal Daryaganj from my father, so I thought I'd give it a try. Here is my review -
Moti Mahal Restaurant, Daryaganj
Food - 4/5 - The food was rich and lip smacking. Portions were medium sized and the cost was reasonable. We ordered for Chicken Nargesi, Punjabi Murg, 3 Nans and 3 Parathas and the bill came to about Rs.670.
Service - 3/5 - The waiters at Moti Mahal Daryaganj were dressed in peach pathani kurta pajamas and coffee waistcoats.Tables were set with salmon pink serviettes in the western style. The service was quick and the waiters were polite and non-intrusive.
Decor - 1/5 - Since we had arrived for an early lunch, the garden courtyard section was closed and we were seated in the inside AC section. This section has tables for more than 70 customers. The interior of the restaurant took us back to 1947. The pink painted walls and the glass lamps fitted with brash florescent bulbs gave the restaurant a dull look. I noticed pictures/symbols of all religions except Christianity on the sinking wall behind the reception area.
Ambiance - 3/5 - A stereo system was playing Hindi film songs such as 'Tujme Rab Dikhta He' from Shahrukh Khan starrer 'Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi' softly. Customers were having quiet polite conversation and there was not much noise in the restaurant, which is great for having a good conversation.
Clientele - As I had visited the place for an early lunch on a Sunday, the restaurant was only just beginning to fill up. Most of the people seated were upper middle class folks in the age group of 50 years and older. The few young people at the restaurant were accompanying their parents.
I have visited other Moti Mahal Restaurants in Delhi and thought that these restaurants may be branches or franchisees of this restaurant. However, the menu offered by the waiter clearly mentioned that this restaurant had 'no branches'. If you are looking for amazing food at a reasonable price and are not bothered about what the restaurant looks like, then Moti Mahal Daryaganj is the place to dine.
Have you eaten out at Moti Mahal, Daryaganj? What was your experience like?